Lynnwood’s City Center to include two apartment complexes, hotel

LYNNWOOD — Three major construction projects are set to break ground this year in Lynnwood’s new City Center.

The private development, priced at more than $100 million, includes two apartment complexes and a hotel. They fold into an ambitious decade-old plan by city leaders to create a walkable downtown core. That means shorter blocks, wider sidewalks and taller buildings where 196th Street SW meets I-5.

“It really grows our community in a way that people would want to see,” said Janiene Lambert, the City Center program manager.

The development is fueled in part by light rail coming to Lynnwood. Sound Transit is expected to start construction in 2018 to extend light rail to the transit center south of 200th Street SW.

There’s a flurry of work ahead: Two new arterials are planned for the City Center area, 196th Street SW is set to be widened, and the Costco north of Alderwood mall is expected to open this summer. The roadwork is aimed at avoiding a congestion nightmare in an already crowded crossroads.

City Center is designed to help Lynnwood absorb projected population growth, Lambert said. Lynnwood, halfway between Everett and Seattle, is expected to grow from 36,000 to 54,000 people over the next 20 years.

“This is our opportunity to maximize the space,” city spokeswoman Julie Moore said.

Eventually, local government would like to move all of its offices into City Center, the boundaries of which stretch west from I-5 to 48th Avenue W., and north from the transit center to 194th Street SW.

The plan calls for turning a stretch of 198th Street SW to a Main Street-style, “heart of downtown,” Lambert said. Part of that would include creation of a new park, tentatively called Town Square.

“It’s all conceptual at this point,” she said.

Height restrictions vary in the City Center zone, up to about 30 stories, with 35-foot height limits bordering homes, including apartments.

If a 30-story building was constructed, it would be the tallest in Snohomish County. For comparison, that’s more than twice as tall as Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

The construction projects in City Center include a 300-unit senior living complex, a six-story hotel and the CityCenter Apartments, an affordable workforce housing complex.

Both the hotel and the CityCenter Apartments are planned for land that’s being sold by the Edmonds School District. The apartment complexes are set for construction to start this summer, with the hotel to follow.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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